Artists Built Secret Apartment in Mall

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barnz
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Artists Built Secret Apartment in Mall

Post by barnz » Tue Oct 02, 2007 4:43 pm

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f ... .DTL&tsp=1


Artists Built Secret Apartment in Mall


(10-02) 14:35 PDT Providence, R.I. (AP) --

The leader of an artists' cooperative has been sentenced to probation for setting up a secret apartment inside a shopping mall's parking garage as part of a project on mall life.

Michael Townsend, 36, said he and seven other artists built the 750-square-foot apartment beginning in 2003 and lived there for up to three weeks at a time.

The artists built a cinderblock wall and nondescript utility door to keep the loft hidden from the outside world.

But inside, the apartment was fully furnished, down to a hutch filled with china and a Sony Playstation 2 — although a burglar broke in and stole the Playstation last spring, Townsend said.

There was no running water — instead they used the mall bathrooms.

On his Web site, Townsend said he was inspired by a Christmastime ad for the mall which featured a "an enthusiastic female voice talking about how great it would be if you (we) could live at the mall."

He built the dwelling "out of a compassion to understand the mall more and life as a shopper."

Townsend said plans to make the apartment "super-sweet" with laminated wood flooring and other perks fell apart last week after he and a visiting artist from Hong Kong walked into the room and were greeted by three security guards. He pleaded no contest to a trespassing charge.

Providence Place Mall spokesman Dante Bellini Jr. described the living space as little more than "an area with stuff in it."

But Providence Police Maj. Stephen Campbell said he and other detectives were so intrigued they visited the apartment to see for themselves.

"I was surprised at what he was able to accomplish," Campbell said. "But what he did was clearly criminal. The mall is private property."

___

On the Net:

http://www.colincantread.com/Yoto/Malllife.html
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theCryptofishist
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Post by theCryptofishist » Tue Oct 02, 2007 5:23 pm

Criminal? I guess, if you want to get technical. Oh well, if I'm not careful here, I'll end up an addis-apologist.
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Post by pinemom » Wed Oct 03, 2007 10:16 am

"do not call 911, this is art!"
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Post by The CO » Wed Oct 03, 2007 10:55 am

Brilliant!
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Post by MikeVDS » Wed Oct 03, 2007 1:55 pm

Haha that's great. I've always thought about the weird places I could secretly move into.

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Post by Toolmaker » Wed Oct 03, 2007 2:09 pm

The mall wouln't be my first choice for a place to squat but if it makes ya happy go for it. The artist should be OK.. only a pile of misdemeanors. Since there was no criminal intent most of the charges will probably be dropped. Personally I think the artist previous Tunnel project is much nicer.

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Post by Valkyrie » Wed Oct 03, 2007 4:19 pm

Well, if one were to try to attempt to reach the mentality of those who would "live to shop" it makes a lot of sense. After all, that seems so far from normal, it'd take an immersive experience. Sort of an exercise in participant observation that anthropologists studying other cultures do. Of course, they were only staying there for weeks at a time, otherwise it'd push them over the edge. I'd just hate to have to be the one to do it.
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Burner till death
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Post by Burner till death » Wed Oct 03, 2007 9:42 pm

There is a little used room at the hospital my wife works at I have always eyed. Its in a common area open to other areas kindo of in a litle mall area, starbucks, a clothing and gift shop, restaurant, pharmacy, optometrist and about a dozen other stores.

This little space used to be a some sort of lab space so it has water power, gas and a hood. it also has an entire wall of glass. so it has a great view. When they remodled it they cut the room in half diagonally so its kinda funky shaped. I think thats the only reason they dont use it.

I think Ill set up an office in it, or a rec space and hang out.

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theCryptofishist
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Post by theCryptofishist » Wed Oct 03, 2007 10:00 pm

With a hood? You'd be missing all sorts of neat stuff you could do with that if you only converted into an office.
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Das Bus
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Post by Das Bus » Wed Oct 03, 2007 10:23 pm

I don't get it. If they built a room in the parking garage, how are they observing mall life? Walls made out of cinder block with no windows and a playstation to keep them busy... sounds more like they were just looking for a free place to live.
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theCryptofishist
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Post by theCryptofishist » Wed Oct 03, 2007 10:36 pm

Oh I don't. Not if they were only staying there in 3 week or less stints. And if you've ever tried to write an artist's statement, you know that it's just impossible to get teh words right.
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Teo del Fuego
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Post by Teo del Fuego » Thu Oct 04, 2007 8:11 am

google theTunneling Mexicans, a group of "undeground" artists who set up a full-sized movie theatre with theatre seats, bar, projector, etc. in the Catacombs of Paris. Very interesting read

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BAS
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Post by BAS » Thu Oct 04, 2007 8:14 am

I'd forgotten about those folks in Paris! They sound pretty cool. 8)


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Teo del Fuego
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Post by Teo del Fuego » Thu Oct 04, 2007 8:34 am

Here's a link tothe underground theatre in Paris:

http://www.gadling.com/2006/08/29/tunne ... paris/[url]
[/url]

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Post by Ugly Dougly » Thu Oct 04, 2007 10:32 am

That's as bad as burning an effigy on a beach. Damn artists.

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Post by Ugly Dougly » Thu Oct 04, 2007 10:34 am

Teo del Fuego wrote:Here's a link tothe underground theatre in Paris:

http://www.gadling.com/2006/08/29/tunne ... paris/[url]
[/url]
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Das Bus
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Post by Das Bus » Thu Oct 04, 2007 5:56 pm

OK... so you sit in a room for three weeks with a playstation; how does that give you an insight into 'mall life'? (I must be missing something here)
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barnz
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Post by barnz » Thu Oct 04, 2007 6:59 pm

/\
I did notice that they claim to have taken a grand total of SIX photographs. (but 'tons' of video...)
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Post by pinemom » Fri Oct 05, 2007 7:26 am

Actually if the room was more in the mall, I could see it as fun...
I hate the mall and refuse to go there! but I dunno, the thought of going there minus all the f'ing jerks and over Zealous sales people sounds like a fun night(one night mind ya...)
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Tinkerbell
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Post by Tinkerbell » Fri Oct 05, 2007 1:13 pm

Hmm.. well a few times I have taken warehouse spaces and old auto shops and transformed them into live in and work areas. I never imagined that it could be pulled off to live in such a public space and it never be known. interesting
:P

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Post by mdmf007 » Fri Oct 05, 2007 6:36 pm

I have always wondered about all the unused spaces in buildings. I am always thinking about what wierd apartments they could be.

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Post by K-mom » Sat Oct 06, 2007 6:34 pm

Providence Place Mall spokesman Dante Bellini Jr. described the living space as little more than "an area with stuff in it."

hmmm, I think they need a new spokesman, with a better grasp of .... word .... assembly ..... displayification skills.

I've always wanted to convert an old school into a living space.


ps an interesting novel this article reminded brought to mind:
http://www.smh.com.au/news/book-reviews ... 43480.html
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BAS
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Post by BAS » Sun Oct 07, 2007 11:32 am

My grandfather lived in an old school for a while, and used a bunch of it for raising chinchillas. It wasn't too bad a place for the first few years, IIRC, until the weathering and lack of maintenance started wearing it down.


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